Trigger warning: This blog may be difficult for some people, please exercise self care.
Feeling Not Good Enough
When I was a child there was one phrase that seemed to sum up my days, it was a phrase that seemed to be said by so many different people. This phrase was said in so many different ways but it amounted to the fact that I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough to be a daughter, to be anything other than an object for others to hurt and abuse and even then I wasn’t good enough at that.
This phrase really summed up my childhood and it was how I learnt to feel about myself, that somehow I was a failure at everything. That everything that went wrong in my life was my fault and that I deserved all the things that happened to me because I wasn’t good enough. If I sit in the still quiet now I can hear my mothers voice uttering those words, I can hear the countless friends she had who hurt me uttering those words and it still hurts.
This week I have felt yet again that I wasn’t good enough, I have no proof of this fact but it’s how I felt all the same. I feel an outsider in my community sometimes, it’s nothing anyone has done it’s just how I feel. I mean I am the one person I know of in my village who has Dissociative Identity Disorder and I am sure some people think that this means I have 3 heads. Maybe I’m vulnerable to feeling like this, but I am a relative newbie in my village and it’s a typical rural place where most people seem to know one another and I don’t know very many people.
Since I began this journey of hospital admissions, labels and diagnoses I have lost much of my social circle of friends, work colleagues etc, I have some friends but I no longer have the number I used to. I lost my job following my first psychiatric admission and so went my friends at work, I am no longer part of a couple so lost friends there also. Now I find myself feeling a misfit sometimes and thats how it was this weekend, I felt isolated and vulnerable. In truth I felt not good enough once again and that hurts, it probably hurts more than I can explain in writing this blog.
So I went to my psychology session a couple of days ago and found myself in tears explaining yet again that I hate D.I.D. and I hate me. It’s strange to suddenly realise with passion and feeling that you mean what you are saying, that you actually hate who you are. The reality is that I hate the fact I was abused, I hate the fact people said it was all I was fit for and that even then I wasn’t good enough. I hate the fact I feel I was a failure as a parent, as a wife, as a daughter and as a human being but I can’t help those feelings, feelings which consume me and I can’t seem to shake off.
My psychologist was telling me not to compare myself with others, which I can do in my desire to be normal, to be accepted, yet it’s not so easy to stop. I do know that he is right of course, that the only person I can honestly compare myself to is me. Though in all honesty it felt a bit like one of those sessions where I so wanted to say something but did everything possible to avoid saying it, I can have them every now and then. But unlike most sessions I have, I left this one and sobbed a far bit of the journey home; even though I’d settled in my head at least that I was ok before the session ended. In my heart I now realise I wasn’t ok and I actually had so much else I should have said but didn’t.
I so wanted to let out those feelings of anger and hurt that I carry, to finally let out the feelings I have kept locked deep inside for too long. But of course I didn’t, I mean how can I when all I have ever been told is that being angry isn’t good. If I was ever angry or answered back as a child, there were serious consequences, consequences that hurt and left me mentally more in fear. In hospital people don’t like you being angry either and expressing any kind of emotion well that was a no no, I used to suffer sanctions if the staff ever felt I was angry. Sanctions that deprived even more of my liberty and took away any rights I had, I’ve lost my right to live with my sons because people thought I was angry. Because people thought I had no right to be cross or annoyed, to feel the feelings I have and rightly hold.
Yet now I’m meant to feel and apparently it’s ok to express myself that’s what I’m told, but somehow I can’t do it. I can’t risk showing all the hurt and yes the anger I hold because I don’t know if I can stop it once I open the flood gates. I am angry, angry that I was failed by a society that left me in a home that they knew was unstable, in the care of someone they had labeled as pathogenic. People knew I was being abused, neglected, traumatised and they did nothing more than prescribe me an 11 year old child with Valium to help me cope with the difficult circumstances of my life.
I’m angry at her and her friends for all the things they inflicted upon me, for treating me worse than a piece of garbage. For all the physical, emotional and other types of abuse they inflicted upon me. I’m angry because I live each and every day with the damage that all caused, I live with my D.I.D and with the emotional scars that come from being a victim of abuse.
Yet now I can’t let out that anger, or the rawness of the emotions I feel because of fear, fear that I won’t be understood, that I’ll be deemed a risk. Fear that I will explode and not be able to contain or control the immense feelings that I have. Yes I feel not good enough to fit in anywhere because I am different, I am unlike anyone else I know. I am the child who was used, hurt and defiled, a child who was constantly criticised and belittled and a child who desperately wanted to be simply good enough to be loved by the person who gave birth to her. But most of all I am different because I am this person who hates herself and yet has tried to hide that fact for so long.
I know other victims have suffered too and many who make this journey won’t see light at the end of it, they are worse off than me, but my feelings of hurt are real and I was messed up and failed. Failed not just at the time of the abuse, but in each and every opportunity that was missed to stop the nightmare I lived.
No matter how many times I am told how far I’ve come it doesn’t help, because no one knows the anguish I feel, no one knows what it’s like to feel overwhelmed with emotions and unable to show them. Yes I have every reason and right to be angry, I just can’t let that anger out now and it is eating me from the inside and yet I’m still to frightened to bare my soul and show those who want to help me now the true feelings I hold. I missed out on the opportunity in my psychology session to let it out, maybe one day I might be able to, maybe one day I’ll feel good enough, I guess only time will tell.
Copyright DID Dispatches 2014